THERE is an air of optimism around Páirc Ghno Gaoth Dobhair with job creation figures continuing to rise. As highlighted in Údarás na Gaeltachta’s Annual Report for 2021, 286 new jobs were created in the Donegal Gaeltacht over the past 12 months, signifying the largest number of jobs created in a single year in the county since 2008.
Central to this success story is the achievements of Faisc Miotail Éireann Teoranta (Irish Pressings) which continues to enhance its reputation as an internationally-renowned supplier of design, engineering and manufacturing services to customers across the world.
Founded in 2005 by brothers Declan and Brendan Ward, employment numbers at Irish Pressings have grown by over fifty per cent in the past 18 months with 104 people now employed. This year it is anticipated that a further thirty roles will be filled with opportunities across all sectors of the business.
While Covid-19 caused challenges for trading companies, Irish Pressings viewed the fallout from the pandemic as an opportunity as large multinationals sought to bring their supply chain closer to home.
This has been a very successful strategy. The company has managed to secure substantial contracts from manufacturers across the UK and mainland Europe who might previously have sought to award the work to suppliers in China, India and other parts of Asia.
“Many of our competitors use periods of change and market upheaval as an excuse to perhaps slow down or stop seeking new growth opportunities in an attempt to ride out the storm. However, I’ve always viewed such periods of uncertainty differently,” Declan Ward, Managing Director, said.
“It is in times like these that the greatest opportunities arise. Covid-19 ripped traditional supply chains apart and is yielding huge opportunities for companies with the ability and agility to position themselves to take advantage of these openings,” he added.
As the company continues to grow, so too does the breadth of roles that Irish Pressings require to drive the company forward. Currently, they’re looking for Production Operators, Quality Engineers, Project Engineers, graduate Engineers, Sales Engineers and a HR Generalist.
On top of this, they are looking to engage with secondary school students across Donegal to promote their apprenticeship programmes.
“Both myself and Brendan started out as apprentices so we know full well the value of providing apprenticeship opportunities to young people,” he said.
A key motivator for Irish Pressings has always been the aim of creating a world-class design, engineering and manufacturing facility in west Donegal that provided opportunities for young people to achieve all of their career goals and ambitions without leaving home.
“The success of Irish Pressings to-date has been due to our employees and across the organisation we have some fantastic success stories,” he said.
The Toolroom Manager, Noel McBride, who joined as an apprentice back in 2005, is now managing a team of over 40 people while engineer Christopher Cannon, who joined on work experience a few years back, is looking after all of the robotics and automation requirements.
On a similar vein, a young mechatronics student who has come through a successful work-experience period last year has been offered a full-time job when he completes his degree later this year.
Heading abroad to work is what Declan had to do when he was starting out and he doesn’t want others to feel that making that same journey is their only option.
“Providing young people with the opportunities to live, learn and work here at home without compromising any of their career ambitions has always been a primary motivator for me,” he said.
Over the past 12 months, the company also has tapped into the diaspora as a source of highly-skilled employees with the quality of life on offer in Donegal an attractive proposition for many who consider making the move home.
“There is no doubt that there are people out there looking to make the move home if they can find the right employer who matches their energy and appetite for success – we like to think we can match the expectations of those people.
“Over the past few months we’ve been fortunate enough to attract some really experienced professionals to the team who have relocated from Dublin and overseas,” Mr Ward said.
Irish Pressings is facing a busy 2022 with new projects coming on-stream that will see components being designed, engineered, manufactured and exported to some of the most recognisable car brands in the world.
Customers include companies such as Honda, BMW, Nissan, Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Mercedes, Opel and Fiat.
This year will also see the company explore new opportunities in Green/Clean Tech.
“Much of the company’s success to date has been in the automotive industry and this will continue to be a core aspect of the company’s business.
“We are constantly seeking to diversify and innovate however and have identified very real opportunities for us to utilise our design and engineering expertise to collaborate on new product solutions across sectors that can help in the global challenges associated with climate change. This area of innovation, R&D and prototyping will be a key aspect of the company’s direction in the years ahead,” the Managing Director explained.
“We’ve been here in Gweedore for almost 17 years now but in many ways it feels like we’re just at the beginning. Hopefully we can continue to build a strong team rooted in west-Donegal that will further put Irish Pressings and the Donegal region on the global map as a centre of engineering excellence,” he added.
For anyone interested in finding out about the opportunities that Irish Pressings has to offer, check out www.irishpressings.com/careers, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or follow the company on LinkedIn and Facebook
Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere